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If you're like me you were raised listening to the Skeleton Song.

"The foot bone's connected to the leg bone. The leg bone's connected to the knee bone. The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone."

Although there are so many things wrong with the lyrics to this popular childhood song, one thing is true—our body is a chain with many bones from bottom to top.

What makes pain in your knee, ankle, foot, or toe so dangerous is that it can also cause pain up and down your chain.

This means that your foot pain might be related to your knee pain. Your knee pain might be related to your hip pain.

So, if you're in a situation where multiple joints are hurting, take some time to investigate all your painful spots. You never know what is the cause and what is the effect until you start investigating.

Here's everything you need to know to relieve pain in your knee, ankle, foot, and/or toe.

4 Exercises You Could Do Right Now for Immediate Knee Pain Relief

Knee pain is terrible. The knee joint is one of the least structurally-sound joints in your body. And, although this is terrible, it's not even the worst part.

When your knees hurt, you limp around until you have time to figure out what's causing your pain. In the meantime, this limping can cause foot, ankle, and/or hip pain.

Often, knee pain migrates up or down the chain of joints in your body.

Instead of hobbling around, try these four exercises to help you relieve your knee pain.

  1. Get a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or Orb to roll the muscles above and below your knee. Knee pain is tricky to quickly relieve, but one great first step is to loosen up the muscles on your leg. When one muscle is tight, it could pull on the others and cause pain. Make sure to roll your hamstrings (back of your thigh), gastrocnemius (back of your calf), adductors (inner thighs), quadriceps (top of your thigh), and tensor fasciae latae + iliotibial band (along the outside of your hip and thigh).
  2. Practice Bridge pose. This link will take you to a post that teaches you the Pilates way and the yoga way to practice Bridge pose. Although the goals are slightly different, the ability to strengthen your leg muscle is undeniable!
  3. Try One leg kick. This classic Pilates exercise is another gem to help you strengthen your hamstrings. Plus, you get to stretch your quadriceps and practice bending your knees without any stress on the joint.
  4. Practice Chair pose. When you want to strengthen all the muscles around the knee joint, this yoga pose is one of the best. Place a block or pillow between your thighs to really encourage all your leg muscles to work.

What Muscles Could Cause Knee Pain?

When you're trying to figure out which muscles might be causing your knee pain, remember that some muscles from your upper leg (like your quadriceps) insert onto your lower leg. Because they cross the knee joint, they could cause knee pain.

Plus, you have muscles that work exclusively in the knee joint (like the popliteus).

All the Muscles that Could Cause Knee Pain

Here is a complete list of all the muscles you should check out if you're trying to figure out what to do to get rid of your knee pain:

Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah.
I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains.

5 Exercises You Could Do Right Now for Immediate Ankle Pain Relief

Ankle pain hurts—there's no denying it. However, you might not realize how dangerous your ankle pain actually is.

When your ankles hurt, you limp around until you have time to figure out what's causing your pain. In the meantime, this limping can cause foot, knee, and/or hip pain.

Instead of hobbling around, try these five exercises to help you relieve your ankle pain immediately.

  1. roll your foot on a tennis ball to relieve foot or ankle pain

    Roll your foot with a tennis ball.

    Roll your feet and calves on a tennis ball or lacrosse ball. Place your ball on the ground and roll it back and forth with the sole of your foot. This will help loosen any tight muscles on the bottom of your foot. You can be seated or standing. (Standing will help you to apply more pressure and get a deeper massage.) Then, take a seat and place your ball just below your knee. When you feel your muscles relax and melt around the ball, scoot on to a new spot. Work your way down from just below your knee to right above your heel.

  2. Point and flex your foot at the ankle. When you move your foot at the ankle joint, you can stretch tight muscles that might be causing your pain. For this reason, it's also good to...
  3. Do a standing calf stretch. Stand up nice and tall with your feet together and parallel. Put a soft bend in the knees and send one foot back behind you. Connect your back foot’s heel to the floor. Make sure you have a nice, long spine. Then, draw your low belly to your spine and hinge forward as a single unit, moving from your hips through the top of your head. This shouldn’t be a big move, but it will probably be a big change in the intensity of your stretch.
  4. Rock back and forth to the outside edges of your feet. By gently shifting your weight to the inside and outside edges of your feet, you can create an unusual-but-gentle stretch for your ankle.
  5. Draw circles with your feet. Take a seat and roll your ankles. Make sure the top of your foot stays evenly facing you the whole time. (Don't let your foot turn inward or outward. You don't want to see the soles or outside edges of your feet.) Then, switch directions.

What Muscles Could Cause Ankle Pain?

When you're trying to figure out why you're having ankle pain, you want to check out some important muscles in your shin and foot.

You'll see some repeating words in the list below.

Tibialis will indicate that the muscle is on the front of your shin.

Hallucis will let you know this is a muscle that helps move your big toe.

Digitorum indicates this muscle moves your four smaller toes.

Don't be fooled into thinking muscles that move your toes can't be to blame for your ankle pain—they are common culprits.

All the Muscles that Could Cause Ankle Pain

peroneus longus muscle

Thanks to Kenhub.com for the peroneus longus image.

Here is a complete list of all the muscles you should check out if you're trying to figure out what to do to get rid of your ankle pain:

When you become a member of the Custom Pilates and Yoga community, you’ll learn simple, strengthening exercises to help you enjoy your favorite activities with less pain and more energy.

5 Exercises You Could Do Right Now for Immediate Foot Pain Relief

Foot pain can make your entire body hurt. When your pain is slowing you down, try these five exercises to help you feel better immediately.

  1. Roll your feet on a tennis ball or lacrosse ball. Place your ball on the ground and roll it back and forth with the sole of your foot. This will help loosen any tight muscles on the bottom of your foot. You can be seated or standing. (Standing will help you to apply more pressure and get a deeper massage.)
  2. Point and flex your foot at the ankle. When you move your foot at the ankle joint, you can stretch tight muscles both on the top and bottom of your foot. For this reason, it's also good to...
  3. Do a standing calf stretch. Stand up nice and tall with your feet together and parallel. Put a soft bend in the knees and send one foot back behind you. Connect your back foot’s heel to the floor. Make sure you have a nice, long spine. Then, draw your low belly to your spine and hinge forward as a single unit, moving from your hips through the top of your head. This shouldn’t be a big move, but it will probably be a big change in the intensity of your stretch.
  4. Rock back and forth to the outside edges of your feet. By gently shifting your weight to the inside and outside edges of your feet, you can create an unusual-but-gentle stretch for your feet.
  5. Spread your toes apart. Use your fingers to specifically place each toe so it's straight and has space away from its neighboring toes. Hold here for a moment. Then, let yourself move back to your starting position. Repeat this process however many times you want.

What Muscles Could Cause Foot Pain?

When you're trying to figure out why you're having foot pain, you want to check out some important muscles both in your foot and shin.

You'll see some repeating words in the list below.

Tibialis will indicate that the muscle is on the front of your shin.

Hallucis will let you know this is a muscle that helps move your big toe.

Digitorum indicates this muscle moves your four smaller toes.

Flexor muscles help you bend your toes (like when you wear high-heeled shoes). At the ankle joint, they help bring your toes closer to your shin.

Extensor muscles help you reach your toes toward the sole of your foot. At the ankle joint, the motion continues as they help the tops of your feet reach away from your shins.

Adductor muscles help bring your toes toward your second toe, and abductor muscles help spread your toes apart.

All the Muscles that Could Cause Foot Pain

You can do this. I believe in you.

This list can seem overwhelming at first, but try to really focus on where you feel your pain. By pinpointing a specific painful spot, you can get a good idea of a starting point.

For example, if your pain is big toe-related, check out the muscles with hallucis in the name. If your pain is more in or near your four smaller toes, check out muscles with digitorum in the name.

Anyone with pain on the outside edge of the foot or ankle should check out the peroneals. For those with pain on the bottom of the foot, check out your plantar interossei.

5 Exercises You Could Do Right Now for Immediate Toe Pain Relief

When your toes hurt, you want relief—fast! Here are five exercises you can do that should help you feel better immediately.

  1. Roll your feet on a tennis ball or lacrosse ball. Place your ball on the ground and roll it back and forth with the sole of your foot. This will help loosen any tight muscles on the bottom of your foot. You can be seated or standing. (Standing will help you to apply more pressure and get a deeper massage.)
  2. Draw circles with your toes. Use your fingers to help circle each toe individually at its base. Make sure to move clockwise and counter-clockwise, and try to keep your toe as straight as possible.
  3. neutral toe position

    Spread your toes.

    Spread your toes apart. Use your fingers to help increase the space between your toes.

  4. Hug your toes together. After you've spread your toes apart, challenge yourself to slide your toes straight toward each other.
  5. Bend each toe joint. Use your hands to bend each individual toe joint. Make sure your toe moves in a straight line. (Don't let any joints move on an angle.)

For many people, just a little bit of extra toe TLC will help relieve the aches and pains that you're feeling.

What Could Cause Toe Pain?

When you're trying to figure out why you're having toe pain, you want to check out some important muscles both in your toe and foot.

You'll see some repeating words in the list below.

Hallucis will let you know this is a muscle that helps move your big toe.

Digitorum indicates this muscle moves your four smaller toes.

Flexor muscles help you bend your toes (like when you wear high-heeled shoes).

Extensor muscles help you reach your toes away (like when you're pointing your foot).

Adductor muscles help bring your toes toward your second toe, and abductor muscles help spread your toes apart.

All the Muscles that Could Cause Toe Pain

You can do this. I believe in you.

This list can seem overwhelming at first, but try to really focus on where you feel your pain. By pinpointing a specific painful spot, you can get a good idea of a starting point.

For example, if your pain is big toe-related, check out the muscles with hallucis in the name. If your pain is more in or near your four smaller toes, check out muscles with digitorum in the name.

When you become a member of the Custom Pilates and Yoga community, you’ll learn simple, strengthening exercises to help you enjoy your favorite activities with less pain and more energy.

Call Your Doctor When...

Although these exercises will help you relieve pain if you have tight or weak muscles, they won't do a bit of good if you have skeletal issues or torn muscles or tendons.

You should absolutely contact your doctor if:

  • your pain increases when you do these exercises.
  • you don't notice decreased pain after two weeks.
  • you notice numbness or tingling.

It's okay to want to try to relieve your pain yourself, but it's also okay to get your doctor's help.

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